July 21, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Miami Marlins center fielder Justin Ruggiano (20) rounds the bases after hitting a solo homerun against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the second inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE
Hero Of The Game: Justin Ruggiano (.073 WPA)
Goat Of The Game: Carlos Zambrano (-.326 WPA)
Play Of The Game: With two on and nobody out in the fourth inning, Pirates starter A.J. Burnett reached first on an error by catcher John Buck, that allowed Rod Barajas to score and gave Pittsburgh a 2-1 lead. (.147 WPA)
Carlos Zambrano entered Saturday night's contest in Pittsburgh with only one career loss at PNC Park. A.J. Burnett, on the other hand, had not yet been defeated at home. That streak would continue as Zambrano and the Marlins lost their fourth game in a row and fell to six games below .500.
Pittsburgh took a 1-0 lead after Zambrano got into some trouble in the bottom of the first inning. Alex Presley lead off the inning with a walk, and Neil Walker, batting over .400 in July, followed with a double. With runners on first and second and nobody out, Zambrano was able to strike out Andrew McCutchen, who has been baseball's hottest hitter in July (batting over .500).Garrett Jones hit a grounder to second that brought in the run, but Zambrano was able to get out of the inning having given up just the one run.
Miami was able to tie the game in the second, as Justin Ruggiano, a player acquired from Houston that is making an enormous impact, hit an opposite field home run against Burnett, a former Marlin. Despite several balls hit well, Burnett was able to hold the Marlins to just one run in the inning.
Both pitchers settled in until Zambrano got wild in the fourth. Big Z didn't have command when he threw his first pitches of the inning, as he hit both Rod Barajas and Clint Barmes. Pitcher A.J. Burnett was simply trying to advance the runners with nobody out, but instead, Barajas was able to score and Burnett was safe at first on an error by John Buck, giving the Pirates a 2-1 advantage.
Alex Presley subsequently walked, and Neil Walker drove in Pittsburgh's third run with a sacrifice fly. Zambrano issues a bases loaded walk to Garrett Jones, and his day was done after just 3 1/3 innings. Chad Gaudin took over for Zambrano, and gave up another base on balls that brought in a run. The Pirates scored four runs in an inning in which they did not get a hit.
After the Pirates gave Burnett a four run lead, he was lights out. Burnett gave up just one run and eight hits over 7 2/3 innings. The Marlins' struggles with runners in scoring position continued, as Miami went just 1-6 on Saturday night.
Heath Bell got into some trouble in the eighth, but was able to keep the Pirates off the board, and allow the Marlins to head to the ninth down four runs.
Brad Lincoln finished off the Marlins in the ninth, which gave Miami their fourth loss on this six game road trip. The Marlins will look to salvage game three of the series on Sunday afternoon with Anibal Sanchez on the mound.